The E-3 Visa: 5 Things Australians Need to Know
Are you an Australian citizen intending to work in a specialty occupation in the United States? If you have recently been hired by an American employer in a position that requires you to hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher, you will need a visa to get to the US and get started on the job. The E-3 Visa is designed solely for Australians to do just that, and our experienced attorneys at Galstyan Law, have put together 5 things that you need to know to streamline your E-3 process.
1. Created Specifically for Australian Workers
The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa specifically for Australian nationals and is the ideal choice for those nationals holding the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher and who have been hired by a US employer.
To be eligible Australian citizens must:
- Have graduated college or university with at least the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree
- Have accumulated years of work experience corresponding to a degree. Typically, three years of work experience is considered equivalent to a year of American undergraduate education; so twelve (12) years of work experience is generally equated to a four-year bachelor’s degree.
2. Get Comfortable with Paperwork
Once you and your immigration lawyer have determined your eligibility, your US employer will need to obtain a Labor Condition Application; once this has been received, you can schedule an interview appointment at the US Consulate. You will submit all necessary paperwork to the Consulate at this interview.
In general the law requires the following paperwork for your E-3 Visa:
- The approved LCA;
- Evidence that you have received the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or higher;
- An official job offer letter from your employer;
- Transcripts or copies of certificates from your Australian or American
- If you attended a college outside of Australia or the United States, you must submit documentation proving that your degree is equivalent to an American bachelor’s degree or higher.
- If you did not attend college, you must provide evidence that your work experience is equivalent to the US degree required by your new position.
- If required by the US, the appropriate license for your new position. If you have not yet received a license, you must provide a guarantee that you will apply for the license shortly after admission to the United States.
3. You Can Bring Your Family, Not Your Friends
If you are married or have children under the age of 21 and would like your family to accompany you to the United States, they are eligible to apply for the E-3D visa. Your dependents do not have to be Australian citizens, but you must be able to prove your relationship with them – a marriage license for a spouse, and birth certificates (or the equivalent) for your children.
Non-licensed relationships, such as a de facto relationship or a same-sex Civil Partnership, will not be recognized for E-3D immigration purposes by the USCIS. You will either need to obtain a marriage license or your partner will need to apply for a study, work, exchange, or tourist visa. Recall that a tourist visa expires after 180 days; if your partner wants to remain past that time, he or she must apply for an extension from USCIS at least two months before the deadline.
If your spouse is issued an E3D visa, he or she is eligible to work in the US on that visa; dependents who are children are not able to work, however, they are able to go to secondary school or college on their E-3D visas.
4. It’s Valid for Two Years, But Do Not Let it Expire
Your initial E-3 visa will remain valid for up to two years, and can be renewed an infinite number of times. That said, when it comes to maintaining E3 Visa validity, it’s important to keep these things in mind:
- You can change employers on an E3 visa, but you will need to complete a transfer process through the USCIS. You will need to consult your immigration lawyer during this process, because a nonimmigrant worker petition is required.
- Your E-3 visa is a multiple-entry visa, so if you decided to leave the United States and return within the time period stipulated by your visa, your visa would remain valid.
- If your visa expires while you are outside of the US, however, you will need to return to Australia and re-apply for a new E-3 visa.
5. Galstyan Law Is Here to Help with Everything You Need for an E-3 Visa
The E-3 visa is the ideal visa for many degree-holding Australians, yet it can be chaotic figuring out where to begin. Galstyan Law has years of experience helping Aussies begin work-life in the United States and is ready to help you too. From helping you ensure that you have all the paperwork, filled out correctly, to helping your family and loved ones join you in your American life, Mr. Galstyan, and his team of experienced attorneys, have everything you need to cross the ocean and start your new job. Begin your application for your E-3 visa by contacting our Los Angeles-based immigration attorneys today.